My name is Alison Katinger. I have been working in film, television, and commercials since 2000. I was born and raised here in Massachusetts, and got my formative education in Massachusetts public schools, my undergraduate degree at UMass-Amherst, and my master’s degree at Emerson College.
However, after graduating, I had to leave this great state to find valuable work within my field. I had mounting student loans and simply couldn’t sustain myself here at home given the lack of film projects that were made in Massachusetts. I moved out to Los Angeles and began working on a variety of productions out there. The work was good, and I was able to make a decent living, but I was far from happy. The Bostonian in me missed everything that was on the East Coast: the culture, the food, my beloved sports teams (go Pats!), my friends, and — most of all — my family.
Then the Massachusetts Film Tax Credit came into being and everything changed. While still living in LA, I noticed more and more production companies heading out of California to shoot their projects in states that had tax incentive or credit programs – including Massachusetts. I was shocked to find I was now losing work to my hometown! Knowing I was a Massachusetts native, fellow LA residents, business owners, and industry crew began to complain to me about how much work Massachusetts “was stealing” from the folks in LA. Projects that had previously planned to shoot in LA were now rescheduling and relocating to shoot to little ol’ Massachusetts because it had such competitive tax incentive — and they were bringing all of their millions of dollars with them to the Bay State.
It was a no-brainer. I packed up and moved back to my beloved home state and I am now proud to work side-by-side with the incredible workforce and local businesses that make this state amazing. I have been able to pay off my student loans, I am closer to friends and family, and my quality of life has increased tenfold. The film tax incentives did all of that.
Naysayers will lead you to believe that cutting the film incentives will only affect a select few, many of whom are “Hollywood big-wigs” who don’t need the money anyway. I am proof otherwise. Cutting it will cut my livelihood. I am the face of the Massachusetts film tax incentives.